The success of any open source software project hinges on the involvement and contributions of its members. However, newcomers often face many challenges that can hinder their ability to contribute effectively. In a systematic literature review, Steinmacher et al. identified 15 different barriers faced by newcomers in open-source software projects, which were classified into five categories. One of the categories identified was technical hurdles.
Technical barriers are a major issue for newcomers when starting to contribute to an online community. Steinmacher identified barriers such as:
- issues setting up a local workspace
- code complexity
- software architecture complexity
To address technical barriers, community strategists should also consider simplifying the code and software architecture to make it more accessible to newcomers. This can involve breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, providing clear documentation and guidelines, and creating user-friendly interfaces that make it easier to navigate the community.